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Analyze the difference between John Donne's treatment of male/female relationship in The Canonization and The Flea - Essay Example

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John Donne is one of the most read and criticized poets of seventeenth century. The first thing to strike the reader is Donne’s extraordinary frankness and penetrating realism. The love poems of Donne idealess women and the sexual relations as spiritualized one…
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Analyze the difference between John Donnes treatment of male/female relationship in The Canonization and The Flea
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"Analyze the difference between John Donne's treatment of male/female relationship in The Canonization and The Flea"

Download file to see previous pages The treatment of love and the male and female relations in poems like ‘The Canonization’ and ‘The Flea’ is poles apart. Ther Canonization is based on the religion of love. The poem considers the marital relation as saintly and the lover and the beloved are saints. They represent the true love in the world. The poem begins with the unusual colloquial yet stressing addressing “For God’s sake hold your tongue and let me love”. Thus the poet straightly introduces the subject matter ‘love’. The lovers here burn like candles that will burn out of their own. Thus the lovers are beautiful examples of immortalized, canonized love. ‘Love’ is treated as a holy passion. Here the poet extols love-making as a divine act, an act of worship to God. But the poet does not become emotionally excited, nor does he get into an ecstatic mood when he describes love as a passion the merits canonization for the lovers. The male and female relation is not an excitement or bodily passion for him, but the reunion of two divine beings. So, he says, his love will not injure anyone. He does not upset the scheme of life in any way. In the second stanza he clears this idea. The relations are not for making war or interfering with commerce or spreading disease. The pairs restrict their love to their world. They take their own chances together in their fleeting lives. To the rest of the word they are tiny flies or candles burn together in peace. The burning passion of love in the male female relation is at a higher plane. First he compares the lovers to the eagle and dove, according to the Renaissance idea, eagle flies in the sky above earth while dove transcends the skies to reach heaven. The image of Phoenix is also something which exponents true love. Even though they will be burned to ashes by passion, they will reborn from the ashes of their love. . The divinity of love reaches the peak here . We feel to remember the references given in the Holy Bible about marriage . A human being is the union of both sexes. Platonic love is also the search of the other to attain divinity. The poet creates the idea that true relations will last forever, even after death. The temporary relations in married life based on passion will not last . In the last stanza the poet stresses the idea that they may not pass into history or be immortalized in history . But there will sonnets and love-lyrics perpetuating their history . “And by these hymnes , all shall approve , Us canonized for love”. Thus in Canonization we see the spiritual aspects of love ,which makes it transcend time and space. ‘The Flea ‘is another love poem in which the male and female relations are dealt in a worldly way. Contrary to Canonization the participants of love making are different here. This poem is a temptation to get the love of his female partner. The flea is a medium to transmit the love of one to another. The flea causes both of them to unite in its blood. The union is already happened. So it is not sinful to unite their bodies in the sexual act. In the first stanza Donne urges his girlfriend to watch the union of their blood inside the flea. He see the process of mixing up is blood as a natural thing , so it is not a sin “Mark but this flea, It suck’d me first, and now sucks thee”, ‘this cannot be a sin’. The poet argues here to present his wish to physically unite in the process of love making. First of all he seems to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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